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My "ramble" about "Protection".
I'll admit that this isn't one of my favorite ones (more out of my personal tastes, I suppose, than anything else), although a few parts of it did stand out to me. Especially Goliath's disgust that Dracon would actually call his extortion racket "protection" (and indeed, to him, that misuse of the word would be approaching blasphemy).
Looking back on my "first-time response", I know that I definitely didn't think that the "Elisa gone bad" was a clone (maybe because the story concept here was so obviously a mundane one - Dracon, the most "mundane" of the recurring antagonists running an extortion racket - that such a notion just didn't occur to me). I'm not sure if I thought that it was a frame-up; what I do know is that I was surprised to see Elisa acting that way, and it made sense to me when it turned out that she was just acting. (I noticed that Goliath believed that she'd been placed under a spell - his 10th century upbringing naturally at work again here - but that Broadway made the correct realization almost at once.)
One nice touch during the "acting" scene for Pal Joey's benefit: Chavez mentioning about how Elisa's been acting strange lately - I can't help wondering whether she really was wondering about that at the time. (It certainly had the advantage of making the "acting" less obvious to the audience).
I've occasionally wondered just how much Dave knew about what was really going on when Elisa was visiting him in the pool hall. Did he really believe that Elisa was a crooked cop?
One other favorite part: the bit where Dracon asks Goliath if Elisa's his woman (just goes to show that he may be a crook, but he's not blind), then starts patting him on the shoulder, commenting on how he's got good taste - Goliath glowers at him for that familiarity, and Tony hurriedly retreats. (I can't say that I blame him, but I'm amazed that he was actually daring to pat Goliath to begin with).
Broadway lets out another rude crude belch while helping himself to the jalapena peppers. Though it's the last one that I can recall in the series.
I couldn't help but think that Matt looked almost hopelessly geeky in his grocery clerk disguise. Jaffe's "tilting at windmills" line reminded me of your remark about how "quixotic" is a very good word to describe Matt (I recall that I initially used it in my comments about his pursuit of the Illuminati).
We also find out how Dracon keeps on showing up again in spite of his getting arrested each time in the previous episode - though obviously, in light of his being behind bars at the beginning of "Turf", there are limits to what even his lawyers can do.
It's really great to have the rambles going again. I'm eagerly awaiting the next one.
I think Dave did think that Elisa was corrupt.